5 NHL FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/25/21

Spending up in any daily fantasy lineup is how to get the superstars and the highest upside players in your lineup. In NHL DFS, it’s different from paying up in sports like NBA or NFL. Someone can be one of the highest-salaried players at his position and put up a total dud of a performance, and paying that much for him would be a huge mistake. Let’s make sure we are paying up in the right spots when building our lineups tonight.

Thursday night features a big 10-game slate even with the postponement of San Jose and Vegas. Let's take a look at which studs you should build around.

Connor McDavid, Center, Edmonton Oilers

FanDuel Salary: $9,000

It is tough to look at Patrice Bergeron because the Boston Bruins are playing the New York Islanders. It seems the safe stud to play is once again Connor McDavid, who is up against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. The Canucks are ranked 29th defensively in the NHL. They also take the most minors in the league at 11.3 penalty minutes per contest.

With McDavid having the potential to easily play 20 or more minutes, that means more opportunities. The center generated four high-danger chances on Tuesday night, and even though only a few shots hit the net, McDavid still netted one goal. The chances of a multiple real-world point game are high considering McDavid has three of those in his previous six outings.

Now, what if one does not want to spend that much salary? That is almost 1/6 of our allotted limit. Aleksander Barkov ($7,200) is one possibility, and Jack Eichel ($7,300) is another.

Patrick Kane, Wing, Chicago Blackhawks

FanDuel Salary: $8,000

The Chicago Blackhawks' line with Patrick Kane is something to utilize and attack at the same time. Kane has three-plus shots on goal in his previous five outings and three-plus real-world points in consecutive contests. This is the Blackhawks team most expected from the start of the season. They draw teams into playing their style -- for better or for worse.

The Kane line leads to some fun options to string along in a stack -- Alex DeBrincat has to always be included, but check to see who the pivot on the line is. That can change and can help your salary load tonight.

Again, there are ways to come a little bit down in salary. Filip Forsberg ($7,500) is going up against the Detroit Red Wings, and Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,700) is another guy worth looking at.

David Pastrnak, Wing, Boston Bruins

FanDuel Salary: $8,400

Boston's last meeting with the Islanders was odd because Pastrnak created four scoring chances but had just one shot on goal. He did have two assists, which caused him to nearly hit value. Boston's best sniper has four goals in his last two games -- including a hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers at Lake Tahoe on Sunday night. Boston is also oddly rested. They had three nights between games, and this stretch of the schedule has been kind.

The Bruins usually do not fare well against New York, but Pastrnak finds a way to get real-world points. It is odd but true. There may be an extra motivation given that Pastrnak felt like he was not active enough against the Islanders last time out. He's unlikely to have only one shot on goal this time around.

Patrik Laine ($7,600) is another sniper to consider. He's taking on a porous Chicago defense and penalty kill, which is dropping into the bottom third at 21st (76.6%).

Victor Hedman, Defenseman, Tampa Bay Lightning

FanDuel Salary: $7,100

There is a way of just rostering Victor Hedman as part of a one-off or mini-stack (two players) and walking away. He has performed well against Carolina this season -- particularly over the past two outings, when he scored once and dished out two assists. More importantly, he has created three-plus scoring chances in each of those contests. Hedman is at his best when he is creating off counter-attacks. That is something at which Tampa Bay excels.

This season has been a mixed bag for Hedman, but overall he is still right around a point-a-game pace. That may be enough alone to roster him against the Hurricanes, who he knows extremely well.

Charlie McAvoy is one to watch from the Bruins as a viable alternative. Also, check to see the injury status of Kris Letang. He left Tuesday night's game unexpectedly.

Semyon Varlamov, Goalie, New York Islanders

FanDuel Salary: $8,100

Semyon Varlamov is quite a risk even playing at home on Thursday night, and yet he has managed to stop 61 of 63 shots against Boston while winning both starts against them this season. With several goalie studs not in action for a variety of reasons, the Islanders' goalie is pretty appealing.

The Bruins can generate an onslaught of shots and chances almost at will. Even the Islanders cannot always slow that down. It comes down to whether or not Varlamov can keep holding down the fort. So far, he has with eight wins, a 2.07 goals against average and .927 save percentage. Varlamov has three shutouts, including one versus the Bruins.

Wait for other confirmations first for possible alternatives, but the Isles' starter could be a reasonable choice on this night.

Chris Wassel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Chris Wassel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username chriswassel. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.